Swift Current powerlifter Wayne Cormier has added more medals to his collection and broke into the top 50 all-time national rankings for bench press.
He now also has the distinction of being a national title holder in three Canadian powerlifting organizations.
His latest success came after competing at the 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation’s national championships in Medicine Hat on June 22. He participated in the bench press competition in the 110 kilogram (kg) weight class and 55-59 age category.
“It was good,” he said. “I opened up with 308 pounds and then I went to 325, which was a new personal best for me in competition for the last five years.”
His second lift of 325 pounds (147.5 kg) resulted in a gold medal and a national bench press title in this weight and age category. He attempted to break the current record in this class with his third lift of 331.5 pounds (150.5 kg), but was unsuccessful when he stalled at three-quarter point during the lift.
“It's all about timing your energy,” he explained. “Throughout the course of a competition you're always consuming energy, foods and drinks, and I think what happened was that maybe I mistimed it a bit. So I was starting to lose my energy, and once you do it's really hard to recuperate. Not an excuse, it happens, and on that given day 331.5 was a little too much.”
His performance at the event resulted in another medal for finishing second overall in the bench press master class, which is powerlifters aged 40 years or older. Cormier is 56 years old and the first-place powerlifter is 45 years old.
“To get beat out by a guy 10 years younger than me, I'm OK with that,” he said.
Cormier achieved an important personal goal with this national title at the 100% RAW championships, because he is also the national title holder for bench press in this weight and age category in Canada’s other two major powerlifting federations.
In February 2018 he won gold at the 2018 Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) national championships and eight weeks ago he became national champion at the 2019 Global Powerlifting Committee (GPC) championship.
“I feel that I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish this last 18 months,” he said. “To hold all three was a goal that I had, and very rewarding. I can't remember the last time that's been done. I've been going back through the record books and to hold all three national bench press championships at one time is, if it's happened, I couldn't find it. So I'm pretty happy that I've been able to do that.”
He looked at the calendar after winning the CPU title last year, and then realized that it might be possible to achieve this goal.
“It's a special moment in my career,” he said. “When you think about the travel, when you think about the training, and the amount of effort that goes into capturing one, but to peak three times in 18 months at that high level is a lot of work. I'm pretty happy, I'm pretty content with my performance.”
A few days after competing in Medicine Hat he received a pleasant surprise, when he was notified that he is now ranked 46th in the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation’s top 50 all-time rankings by Wilks formula for male bench press contestants in the master (40+) category.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “I didn't think I was in the top 100, and quite frankly I didn't think about it. … It feels pretty good and it's pretty exciting. All of these things are all part of the game, but you know what, the most important thing is that at my age I'm lifting weights that I lifted when I was in my thirties and I'm getting stronger, and that's the exciting thing.”
His focus will now be on preparing for the GPC world championships that will take place in October 2020 in Regina. He will only do light training for the next month, but thereafter he will start training to lift 350 pounds at the world championships and to win a medal. As part of this preparation he will participate in a powerlifting invitational in September and another competition in May 2020.
He has always been a goal-oriented powerlifter, but since coming out of retirement five years ago he is continuing to adhere to his intention to have fun.
“I want to enjoy this, because I don't know how long it's going to last this time,” he said. “Last time it lasted 20 plus years. This time it's been five years. I may have a career ending injury, I don't know, but I want to make darn sure that I enjoy this time.”